Clinton Earned $2.7 Million From Companies Lobbying on Trade

May 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton raked in $2.7 million since 2014 giving speeches to companies that are backing a fast-track free trade agreement, according to CBS News.

Clinton has yet to take a position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade deal that is supported by the White House but opposed by many in the Democratic base, including labor unions.

Companies that have lobbied in favor of the deal include Qualcomm and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which each paid Clinton $335,000 for speeches last year:

According to the disclosures released by the campaign on Friday evening, the former secretary of state earned at least $2.7 million from speeches at companies backing the trade promotion authority (TPA) that President Obama has been seeking in order to "fast track" approval of trade deals. While that's a fraction of the $25 million Bill and Hillary Clinton earned from paid speeches from January 2014 to present, they nonetheless open the presidential candidate to criticism.

"She's put herself in the position where people are going to question whether she was influenced by the money she was paid if she supports the trade agreements," said Larry Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. "One of the problems with these situations is even if she reaches her decision for reasons she truly believes in, people are going to question it. It undermines her credibility."

According to CBS News, Clinton earned $1.4 million alone from companies that signed a Trade Benefits America Coalition letter to congress supporting the TPP.

Labor unions, which oppose the TPP, have also poured millions into the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton has avoided taking a position the TPP since announcing her candidacy, despite pressure from the media and Democrats to weigh in on the agreement. One of Clinton’s Democratic challengers, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—who opposes the TPP—has been calling on Clinton to take a stance on the issue.

Clinton submitted her first financial disclosure to the Federal Election Commission last Friday. According to CBS News, she and her husband Bill Clinton earned over $25 million in speaking fees since the beginning of 2014.